7.2/10
85
5 user 3 critic

Natural Enemies (1979)

A man hires hires five hookers to fulfil a final fantasy before killing himself and his family.

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Writers:

(based on the novel by),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Steward
...
Miriam Steward
Peter Armstrong ...
Tony Steward
...
Sheila Steward
Steve Austin ...
Alex Steward (as Stephen Austin)
Jim Pappas ...
Fred Russo
Ellen Barber ...
Anne
John Bartholomew ...
Arthur Eaton
Charles Randall ...
Doctor
...
Harry Rosenthal (as Jose Ferrer)
Lisa Carroll ...
The Madam
June Berry ...
Girl in Brothel
Alisha Fontaine ...
Girl in Brothel
...
Girl in Brothel
Michele O'Brien ...
Girl in Brothel
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Storyline

A man hires hires five hookers to fulfil a final fantasy before killing himself and his family.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1981 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Hidden Thoughts  »

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(TVC)
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User Reviews

 
Thoroughly powerful and engaging.
3 July 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This is a film that has been sadly neglected over time. I'm still unsure why it hasn't received a DVD or Blu-Ray release. As a cinematic portrayal of severe and isolating depression it has few peers. It compares favourably with the likes of Taxi Driver as a thorough and focused examination of an articulate yet highly damaged mind.

Hal Holbrook is superb in this film, exemplifying his talent. His character of Paul Steward is by turns sympathetic, disturbing, cruel and intelligent. Only a few years after her role as the monstrous Nurse Ratched, Louise Fletcher puts in a very strong role as Paul's wife, who is loving but woefully poor at communication until it is too late.

Every scene in the film focuses on Paul as he tries to express his rage, frustration and despair to anyone who will listen. His pleas are met with scepticism and well meaning but ultimately useless advice. He seemingly has it all, a family and a high flying job but something about his whole existence and outlook is broken beyond repair. His misguided and half hearted attempts to fix things prove ineffective. The simple and unflashy direction is completely appropriate to the situation at hand.

There's no easy solutions offered by this film which really helps the viewer see Paul's hopeless and detached perspective. The ending is somewhat predictable but in a way is made more powerful because of that, it feels true to the situation depicted. Definitely not a film to warm the heart but as a mature and captivating insight into the horrendously bleak mindsets people can fall into it is entirely worth seeing.


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